Staying upright on rappell

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Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 8, 2019 1:17 pm

Ok I just got my new harness (MTDE Picos) and love the feel of it. My question is, as a top heavy guy, is there any tips on staying in a more upright/ sitting position with the lower connection with a caving harness? I am more used to rescue style harnesses for rappelling with the fire service. I know it will get better as I lose the gut.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 9, 2019 4:37 pm

You may get a suggestion if you first state what sort of descending hardware you use (rack, Stop, figure 8, etc.). The reason is that each piece has a different length, top to bottom. That makes the balance point different. In military tactical rappelling, we used only a single carabiner. By attaching a second carabiner, the balance point could be moved upward.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 9, 2019 11:14 pm

I use a rack most of the time but have only used the harness at the moment on an 8. I will play with it some more but the difference between a caving harness and my Fire rescue class II is going to take some getting used to.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 10, 2019 12:55 am

If you were also wearing a lightweight shoulder harness, that would give you an additional balance point high on your chest. I used to connect a large carabiner from that high point to the upper rope segment, and it gave me something else to lean back with.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 11, 2019 11:40 am

That is pretty much what I was thinking about. I just couldn't remember if I came up with it or if I had seen it in a class. I am going to play with it and see how it works for me.

Thanks gang
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 11, 2019 2:29 pm

I understand your use of a rack. There are long racks and short racks, so there is a difference in the top to bottom length. Racks tend to give you a lot more flexibility in terms of how much friction you are applying to the rope, and for a big guy that is probably important. However, there are other descending devices to consider. Putting the right number of wraps or turns on them can provide correct friction as well. I've spent decades doing my descending with nothing more complicated than a simple carabiner or else a Figure 8. In fact, my usual problem is that I am getting too much friction, so I am going way too slow. Once I had to stop my descent mid-rope, detach the Figure 8, attach a carabiner with two wraps through it, and then continue descent. Initially I had your problem of leaning back too far, but once I got my descender hardware just right, the leaning issue went away. Additionally, most cavers are carrying some sort of gear bag. If you attach that lower on your body, then it will change your leaning angle. I like it when my gear load is attached two inches below my main half-round maillon.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 13, 2019 10:23 am

Thanks. I use a long rack (straight eye). I am going to play with gear organizing and see if it helps.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 13, 2019 2:06 pm

What helped me was when I constructed my own wooden climbing tower in my own yard. I could practice any SRT technique that I wanted, and my equipment storage closet was only ten feet away.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 15, 2019 8:44 am

I wish I could build one but that was not happen... home owners association and city ordnance.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 15, 2019 9:55 am

What they don't know won't hurt them.

I built mine behind a tree so that nobody sees it unless they are looking for it.
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby mullannix930 » Apr 15, 2019 11:12 am

Good point but I unfortunately don’t have anywhere to hide it. Lol
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Re: Staying upright on rappell

Postby bobby49 » Apr 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Plant a tree in a wooden planter tub. Then you can move it around as needed if you change your mind.

Also note how they hide cell phone towers these days, using artificial leaves and branches.
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